Kroger is putting CBD-infused topical products to shelves in 17 states, including Fred Meyer stores in Oregon.
The Cincinnati-based grocery company follows a string of other national brands adding CBD-infused products, after Walgreens, CVS, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC. The move by retailers comes after the farm bill passed in 2018 designated CBD as an agriculural crop.
The statement from Kroger said the product suppliers were reviewed for quality and safety, but Cougar Cannabis owner Shellie Grammer called picking out CBD products at any store that is not an Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensed dispensary is a “crapshoot.”
“I think the people who are buying at Sherm’s or Kroger’s, they’re not the kind of people who have come into a dispensary before,” Grammer said. “I think a lot of people are going to try and then they are going to see that it doesn’t work, then they are going to come into a dispensary to get some more information. Having CBD out there and being more mainstream, I’m hoping it might actually improve my business.”
Regional Fred Meyer spokesman Jeffery Temple said in an email, stores in Oregon and Washington should already have CBD products in the stores.
“Like many retailers, we are offering our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD. CBD is a naturally-occurring and non-intoxicating compound that has promising benefits and is permitted within federal and state regulations,” Temple said.
The products will all be topical balms, lotions, oils and creams to remain within Federal Drug Administration regulations, which does not allow CBD-infused foods or dietary supplements. The only FDA-approved prescription drug is Epidiolex, a seizure reduction medication.
“It’s all based on price,” Bogard said. “A lot of people are getting involved, a lot of people are wanting it, but it all depends on the price.”
She normally goes to La Mota or makes her own, but she checked out the options at Sherm’s Thunderbird Market and said it was “kind of spendy.”
Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and adults over 21 years old could recreational marijuana legally in 2015. CBD is the non-psychoactive element in both marijuana and hemp that is supposed to have medical capabilities.
“I have people come in here all the time who say they tried CBD and it doesn’t work,” Grammer said. “The reason why people come here and not buy it just off the shelf is because they need information. They want to be educated, they want to know what’s the best thing to take, they want to know what we would suggest as a dosage. When you come into my store, you get a consultation with someone who knows what they’re talking about.”
Grammer said Cougar Cannabis carries hemp-derived products, but because the dispensary also carries marijuana-derived products, everything has to follow OLCC testing and labeling requirements.